||Thanking outside the box
||Tell us something to be thankful for.
||Fictoids of Columbia
||Tell us some humorously untrue “facts” about Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area.
||Eww-venirs: Ideas for gift shops
||Suggest a humorous--but NOT horribly tasteless--tchotchke, T-shirt, etc., from a real or imagined gift shop at a particular tourist site.
||Overlap dance II
||Create a phrase that overlaps two terms, each of two words or more, and describe the result.
||Safety in blunders
||Tell us a way to make the nation more secure.
||Give us a funny Learn From My Fail-type lesson, 30 words or fewer, true or not, in your own words or attributed to a famous personage.
||Going to the shrink
||Downsize the title of a book, movie or play to make it smaller or less momentous and describe it.
||A Big To-Do
||Name a "bucket list" item for a well-known real or fictional character.
||4 H |
||Send Us the Bill
||Come up with legislation that, given their names, two or more freshman senators or representatives might sponsor together.
||Make a humorous resolution for some particular person or institution to accomplish next year.
||Make up a pun on a familiar name of a real of fictional person and provide a fitting description or quote.
||Tell us what the government ought to be spending our money on.
||H H |
||Clue Us In
||Compile a set of funny alternative clues to a crossword penned by Ace Constructor Paula Gamache.
||H H |
||Doctrine in The House?
||State a humorous, original "doctrine" for a person or other entity.
||Words to The Wiseacres
||Give us some proverbs for 21st-century life.
||H H |
||The Shill Game
||Name a celebrity or fictional character to endorse a real product or company.
||Our Greatest Hit
||Start with a word or multi-word term that begins with I, J, K or L; either add one letter, subtract one letter, replace one letter or transpose two adjacent letters; and define the new word.
||H H |
||Location, Location, Location
||Say how you know you're in a particular place.
||Gripe for the Picking
||Rant about any issue that wouldn't make your top 100 for airing in The Post.
||H H |
||Always Looking for Sects
||Coin a religion or belief system and tell us its basic tenet or distinguishing characteristic.
||Describe any of these Googlewhacks in the form of a question, "Jeopardy"-style.
||I I |
||Take any real book or movie, change one word slightly, and describe the resulting new product.
||Come up with lessons learned from (1) the movies, (2) popular songs, (3) romance novels or (4) the comics page.
||Spinning Out of Control
||Take a headline in today's Washington Post and create a subhead that spins the story in an opposite or unexpected direction.
||Come up with a joke that could be written and understood only by a Washingtonian.
MOST OF YOUR INK
Here is, I hope, most of your ink to be found in the All Invitational Text list. I have to find these with what are called regular expressions, which is a method used in a lot of programming languages to find and modify certain text strings in larger corpora. Basically I look for something like this:
"Report From Week 758"
"And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . ."
and then some text, your name, and your town, arranged in this familiar way:"GlaxoSmithKline: I have six kids named Chesterfield, Winston, Lark, BensonHedges, Doral and Kool. If I name my new baby Nicorette, can I get a free coupon for your products? (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)"I don't catch everything, but I believe I find 90%.
Unlike in the table to the left, I've arranged these in chronological order, so you can see how your humor matured, like a forgotten cheese deep in the walls of an old house. You started out, perhaps in Year 1, sending in riddles you sort of remembered from grade school, and now look at ya, ain't you Dorothy Parker.
[still working on this ...]